> 2008 race reports
07/06/08 Alwinton Fell Race - from Keith Cooper (organiser)

A tremendous turnout ensured a successful race day at Alwinton. This year sixty eight runners started and all but one finished. This compared favourably with last years twenty starters and seventeen finishers.

It was a championship race for the North East Fell Running Champs, Northumberland Fell Runners and Saddleworth Runners and this no doubt accounted for the increase in numbers. This was much appreciated by the North of Tyne Search and Rescue Team who will not starve this year.

The race was not without drama as the leader at Cushat Law, David Kirkland (Alnwick) continued in the direction of Wether Cairn, whilst those following chose the correct course of action which was to descend to the West. Another dramatic turn of events came when Will Horsley fell at the field gate half a mile from the finish to leave a somewhat startled Joe Blackett to finish first in a time of 1:40:00. “It’s fourteen years since I last did the race” said Joe “so that’s not so bad.” I’ll look up past results and let him know how he did then.

The ladies race was hotly contended with Rachel Vincent (Tynedale) finishing just over one minute ahead of Karen Robertson (NFR) in a time of 1:58:14. 

Speaking of heat, the weather was on the warm side especially in the valley and many a runner took advantage of the stream at the finish to cool off.

The prize giving also produced a couple of surprises. There was consternation when an unknown Tynedale runner, Chloe or “Liv” Short was announced as second lady. Closer analysis revealed this to be a misinterpreted alteration of “Clive” Short on one of sheets.

A short while later a stunned silence greeted the announcement that Steve Birkinshaw had won the MV50 category. Well, anyone can make a mistake! I’ll try and get it right next time.

My thanks to all who helped this year. Also thanks to Gareth and Jane of the Rose and Thistle for the use of the lounge and garden as well as the parking and camping field.
I hope to see you all next year or even better in the short term, at Windy Gyle on 22nd of June.

Keith Cooper

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